Principal Investigators (PIs) are largely responsible for the research work that goes on in the Brain Repair Centre (BRC). They are senior members of the Centre, with an established record of successful research, and most of them run laboratories of varying size. Each lab has a particular range of interests, which usually overlap with several other labs, as well as with other groups in Cambridge. Most PIs develop collaborations around the world with other labs with similar or complementary interests and skills.
Labs are mostly made up of several people; some may be post-docs: these are people who have recently (usually) finished postgraduate (eg PhD) work, and are now in the process of becoming PIs themselves. People often do several post-doc positions (each lasting around three years) in different labs to acquire a range of skills and interests before setting up a lab of their own. A lab will usually have one or more graduate students. These are people who have gained a first degree, and who are now working for a second one, often a PhD, but also a Masters, or (if they are medics) an MD. Many labs also have technicians, highly skilled people who assist the other members of the lab and maintain or operate instruments etc. Skilled administrators facilitate the everyday running of the labs. A very large number of visitors from other Universities and Research Institutes from all over the world come to Cambridge for varying periods of time, and they add to the activity and success of every lab.
PIs are responsible to coordinating and directing the work of all these people so that the lab has a clear and successful plan of action. They are also responsible for raising the considerable amount of money it takes to run a successful lab. Many of the PIs in the BRC combine clinical and research work, so there is a close connection between these two types of activity. The interests of individual PIs determine the direction of the research carried out in the BRC, so you can find out more about each of them by following the links on the right.